Squadron move not set, Misawa mayor told
Stars and Stripes June 14, 2003
MISAWA, Japan — Misawa Naval Air Facility is only one of several locations being considered for a potential move of patrol squadron operations from the Kamiseya communications facility near Atsugi, Capt. Richard High told Misawa Mayor Shigeyoshi Suzuki on Tuesday.
Last week, Japan’s Mainichi Shimbun reported that U.S. and Japanese officials had agreed to return Kamiseya communications facility’s 587 acres northeast of Atsugi. The newspaper, citing unnamed Japanese and U.S. government sources, said a number of Navy servicemembers and their families could be relocated to Misawa.
High, the air facility’s commander, said the Navy is in the final round of talks with Japan about the possible move, but Suzuki, according to the Japanese-language Too Nippo newspaper, reportedly told High he opposes any increase of operations at Misawa.
The Navy is seeking a new location for Patrol Wing 1; Misawa is among the candidates.
“It will be in the mainland Japan, and the move will include five to six officers and 75 staff members, plus families, totaling about 200 people,” High said.
Robert W. Radloff, who will succeed High as Misawa NAF commander at a change of command ceremony Friday, accompanied him to meet with the mayor.
On Monday, U.S. Navy officials “neither confirmed nor denied” the Mainichi report; the Defense Facilities Administration Agency, which handles defense matters at U.S. bases in Japan, had the same response.
Misawa’s base affairs committee met in City Hall on Tuesday, and again Wednesday, to discuss news reports about the potential move of Patrol Wing 1 to Misawa.
Patrol Wing 1, part of Combined Task Force 72, operates Navy P-3C and EP-3 Aries aircraft based at Misawa, Okinawa and Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean from Kamiseya’s Naval Support Facility.